As Putin’s former caterer, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of Wagner PMC, should have known the Russian president likes his revenge to be served cold — albeit just warm enough that it sends a message.
The crash of Prigozhin's plane certainly put a final — and explosive — end to his saga, with many questions yet to be answered.
But what is clear is that exactly two months after agreeing to end his short-lived mutiny, which brought his men a mere two-hour drive from Moscow, Prigozhin’s jet fell out of the sky.
The Russian civilian aviation agency Rosaviatsiya reported that his name, as well as that of his second-in-command, Dmitry Utkin, were on the list of passengers.
Several Wagner-tied channels have since acknowledged the death of the Russian mercenary, who just a few days ago promised to “make Russia even greater on all continents” from an undisclosed country in Africa.
Eyewitnesses report hearing an explosion before the plane crash, with some pro-Russian military bloggers claiming that the plane may have been shot down by Russian air defences.
Other reports coming from Russia claim the crash may have been due to an explosion on the plane itself that sent it into a deadly spin.
Both of those versions would be consistent with the sudden and rapid descent of the plane visible on flight tracking sites.